Diabetes and Cancer Prevention: Health-Focused “Third Tuesday” Monthly Meeting
August 26, 2019 — 15:02

By Grace Maselli

It’s a happy, life-affirming truth that Florida Timebanks’ membersin Tampa, Spring Hill, and St. Petersburghave myriad talents to share with each other and the community at large. Personal health and cancer prevention are among the subjects members study. Jim Zorman, Spring Hill Timebank health writer,  presented recently on diet and disease prevention at TBT’s Third Tuesday monthly meeting at Tampa’s Life Enrichment Center on Tuesday, August 20. Attendees who eagerly came to listen to “Big Jim” Zorman speak numbered 23. Among the key concepts covered: cancer cells thrive on sugar. Avoid High Fructose Corn Sugar, white flour, and alcohol that metabolizes as harmful sugar. Protection can also come in the form of correct doses of Vitamin D. The Cleveland Clinic offers supplemental info to complement Big Jim’s assertions: “Diet, Nutrition, & Healthy Lifestyle Help Reduce Cancer Risk.”  Also referenced during the meeting was New York Times Bestseller, Radical Remission, Surviving Cancer against All Odds, by Kelly A. Turner, Ph.D.

We love to hear about potential speakers and are open to presentations at our Third Tuesday meetings. Bring us your ideas at 608.335.2382.




Sew Wonderful!
August 26, 2019 — 13:31

By Grace Maselli


TBT is growing in leaps and bounds. This includes sewing class at member Delphine Geraci’s Lutz home, where the creativity lives large among Delphine’s five sewing machines. But Delphine doesn’t just generously open her home to stitching and fabric-minded members and friends. (And their groovy threads, scissors, and such) piled alongside fertile imaginations. Delphine teaches too. Patiently. Abundantly. To spread good vibes applied to the centuries-old art form.

With her own deep history of stitchery, member Carol Godwin also guides learners alongside Delphine as an integral part of the sewing scene. A scene where fired-up sewers make everything from reversible handbags to elegant tunics. Where they close the seams on pants and shirts. Mending and tailoring and yucking it up with some laughs. Making it sew real.

Contact TBT Coordinator Rita at 608.335.2382 for more info. And get the skinny on a broader perspective at the National Women’s History Museum and its, “Fashioning Yourself! A Story of Home Sewing”. Join the fun and get your garments going with TBT: All are welcome! Check out the sewing machine documentary, too.

Phew, It’s Been A While
July 10, 2019 — 19:21

By Grace Maselli

Related imageHowdy. Some time’s passed since this blogger shimmied on over to WordPress for a post. (Chalk it up to the day job, out-of-state travel, and kid stuff that leapfrogged to the front of the Must Do line.) Excuses aside, I’m pumped to be here and report that the Tuesday, June 18 jewelry get-togetherour Third Tuesday of Every Month member-and-guest meeting and orientationwas a whole strand full of bauble-y fun!  We had our way with swapped and shared jewelry. We woman (and man-) handled it all: Chunky necklaces and delicate charms. Pipe cleaners and copper wire. We took stuff apart and rearranged it. We glue-gunned and fastened. Considered and chatted, as we noshed on food. We let our imaginations run wild.

All at Tampa’s Life Enrichment Center (LEC). Our Third Tuesdays home and part of TBT’s revitalization initiative to dispatch our efforts further into the community.

And, with tech support from member Karen Lowman, our TBT Coordinator Rita Cobbs demoed the new volunteer-created Florida-wide timebanks website. The new site is a trove of information from core values to the nitty gritty of how to sign up and get involved in timebanking. Building the new website was a labor of love with some elbow grease tossed in for good measure. The result is a timebank jewel that guides members and visitors to vital content.

Yuppers. Last month LEC was abuzz in bangles and glass beads, in trinkets and treasures, and super useful information about our growing Florida-based timebank movement.

Get ready for next month’s Third Tuesday event. Come and learn more about timebank exchanges galore. Share what you love to do while you make friends and build community.


Gearing Up for Third Tuesdays July Shindig, Too!

Date Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Time 6:30-8:30 PM
Address LEC: 9704 North Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33612; phone: 813.932.0241
Questions? Contact coordinator@tampabaytime.org or call 608.335.2382


Rings and Blingy Things, Plus Tools
June 10, 2019 — 18:43

By Grace Maselli

It’s jewelry time. Bring yer stuff. Swap some rings, bracelets, necklaces, baubles. Brooches, gems, treasures, charms.  Join us soon on Tuesday, June 18our Third Tuesday of Every Month member-and-guest meeting and orientation.  We hang out at Tampa’s Life Enrichment Center (LEC). Our Third Tuesdays are part of TBT’s revitalization initiative to dispatch our efforts further into the community.

And, sure, this Third Tuesday, we’ll be a little preoccupied with costume jewelryand even take a crack at some jewelry repair with our needle-nosed pliers and tiny hammers and such. So bring what you have and pitch in. Swap some shiny trinkets. And for the menfolk (and women who are into it), bring your big old corn knife and hay cutter machete. Bring yer fruit scissors and pruning loppers and toss in some stories about how you lopped and carved and ate fruit. Or just bring some pliers to potentially trade. It’s all about connection and fun. And per our prime directive: This month, as always, we’re dedicated to education around our missionexchanges, as explained here in our flyer!


Date Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Time 6:30-8:30 PM
Address LEC: 9704 North Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33612; phone: 813.932.0241
Questions? Contact coordinator@tampabaytime.org or call 608.335.2382
On Gratitude
May 29, 2019 — 11:05

By Grace Maselli

Positivity. Appreciation. Arguably, it can all sound faddish. New Age-y. And definitely there are some days when staying connected to gratitude is more difficult than others. Still, the ability to take stock even when it hurts, the capacity to move toward a memory-muscle “build” for gratitude, brings value, or so many well-thought-of people believe. A regular practiceone where you conjure up a few thoughts, a small bundle of stuff your grateful for, can shift negative perceptions. Things like the ability to breath without mechanical assistance, the capacity to walk and talk, the means to pick up a phone and reach someone you trust, or be in the same room with someone you trust. A person who has your back.

It’s all a reminder to remember what’s working well in your life. To acknowledge that even when life throws it down, lobs a curve ball, gets your shorts in a twist, there can still be the space to recognize what’s okay. What’s more than okay. Maybe such a well-toned muscle has the power to stop the tempest in your teapot?

Here’s what philosopher and Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson had to say about it all: “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

They Arrived, They Self-Expressed, They Listened
May 29, 2019 — 10:21

By Grace Maselli

Beautiful objects, symbols, and handmade art from natural elements were brought to the TBT “Decorate the Springtime Tree” potluck and adventure on May 19. Participates shared Asian cats, a reference to beloved animals and multiculturalism, jewelry and discussion of its energetic frequencies, handmade pieces denoting devotion to curiosity and respect for critical thinking, women’s empowerment and strength, and meaningful, deep friendship.

It was a Sunday afternoon spent timebank-style, where members  and guests came together in a safe space as a community to look into each others faces and tell their stories, building friendship through listening and acknowledgement. Consider Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau’s words, “[T]he essence of friendship [is] the cultivation of true sympathy,” a belief he also extended to connection and sympathy with “non-human beings.”

To learn more about our growing Florida-wide timebanking network, check out our flyer.

Across the Pond
May 29, 2019 — 9:11

By Grace Maselli

Cheerio. “Grab your brolly, it’s drizzling outside.” Okay, so the timebankers from England who recently visited—Annie and Jennie—didn’t actually use this phrase. But it did drizzle on the ride to the Spring Hill monthly meeting they attended this May, where the two of them chip-chipped in their fantastic British accentstheir groovy, regional UK patois.

They joined TBT members at the home of Spring Hill coordinator Andy LePage’s house, where the monthly orientation meeting for new members and review of regular goings-on was held.

At the gathering (that also involved some timebank transportation “gymnastics” to get the travelers from downtown Tampa to Spring Hill), the lovely Brits talked about all the fun stuff and people they’ve met in their homespun Southern England timebank. One of their stories about a coordinated UK timebank event stood out: The gals’ participation in a collective “yarn bombing,” which this humble blogger had never hoid of before. Here’s what the dictionary has to say about yarn bombing, “The action or activity of covering objects or structures in public places with decorative knitted or crocheted material, as a form of street art.” Specifically, Annie and Jennie and their crew yarn bombed an English bus shelter, festooning it with knitted spring flowers, bubble bees, and all-around fiber energy! Totally inspired.

Zigzagging from Here to There

The pond-hopping got its get-up-and-go with 70-year-old Annie who came to Florida to swim with dolphins. Jennie, a world traveler and professional nurse when she’s not visiting places like Kuala Lumpur, joined Annie for the fun. The pair stayed overnight in Andy’s guest bedroom and the next morning, after a yummy porridge breakfast, yet another Spring Hill timebanker got his exchange motor running and drove the Brits to Orlando where they carried on in the tropical sun. Sooo, TBTers, the story line is timebanking and its ethos crosses continents and oceans, connecting the human spirit wired for contact with other caring peeps.

A Culture of Innovation and Connection
April 29, 2019 — 20:53

By Grace Maselli

Of course, our TBT and Florida-wide timebank members totally get the value of timebank exchangeswhere everyone’s time is valued equally, no matter the type of doing being done.

Nonetheless, dear reader, you may have also caught wind of what’s rattling the U.S. middle class. According to real data, it’s taking an economic hit to the sternum. For example, in May 2018, the Brookings Institute, a nonprofit public policy group in Washington, D.C., published an article, “Seven reasons to worry about the American middle class,” where it also referenced the start of its initiative, the Future of the Middle Class and the notion that people are getting banged up in their chase for the American Dream.

Specifically, data points to all things stagnant: “Despite gains in national income over the past half-century, American households in the middle of the distribution have experienced very little income growth in recent decades.” Couple stalled incomes with “falling wages,” and the effect is “fewer Americans are growing up to be better off than their parents.”

Enter Sustainable Lifestyles and the Quest for Plenitude: Case Studies of the New Economy, published by Yale University Press in 2014. In it, the book references the “sharing economy” in the collection’s “Chapter 3, New Cultures of Connection in a Boston Time Bank.” The sharing economy in 2013 dollars was “estimated at 25 percent annually and…predicted to exceed $3.5 billion.” It’s also given rise to “connected consumption” and includes everything from sharing goods and assets between peers and neighbors to “reuse of goods” (carbon footprint reduction) and many things in between, including (drum roll, please), “time banks, which are service-exchange communities that operate without money according to principles of equal time exchange.”

In other words, by virtue of necessity, a timebanker might argue, the squeeze on the middle class has given rise to connectedness. Not to mention, innovation. (You know, the proverbial Mother of Invention phenomenon.) Peeps are renting out their cars (Relay Rides). Their houses (Think Airbnb). And they’re timebanking. The authors of Chapter 3 declare, timebanks are all about forging “informal social ties.” They fit right in, perfectly. “We have found that while the sharing economy is by no means confined to young people [italics, mine], they have been its innovators and early participants. They’re more digitally connected and more open to strangers and lifestyle experimentation,” the authors say. The moral of the story? The 30+ year-old timebanking idea is still capturing the hearts and imaginations of youth culture and way beyond, to align with the “new” sharing economy.


Salon.com Covers Timebanking and “Liquidity” of Daily Tasks
April 29, 2019 — 18:38

By Grace Maselli

Earlier this month Salon.com peeled back the layers on “increasingly popular cooperative time banks.” For readers who may not know, Salon.coman online newspaper—started nearly a quarter century ago and self describes as an, “American news and opinion website…publish[ing] articles on U.S. politics, culture, and current events [with] a politically progressive, liberal editorial stance.” The April 6 piece zeros-in on a timebank in Detroit and references beaucoup exchanges including housing sitting, window washing, transportation, and multicultural cooking classes. The writer also delves into the flex that characterizes the timebanking model. In particular, “time is traded throughout a local time banking community, or even throughout the country: For example, you find yourself in another city and need a ride to the airport. You could spend your time banked in your hometown on a ride in the city you’re visiting.” Voila.

The piece likewise references digital time collection through hOurworld and other U.S. timebanks, referencing the variety of top exchanges shared depending on the community and who enjoys doing what. New York City and Baltimore top the hOurworld charts in terms of size; and in Baltimore in particular, emphasis is placed on the system’s ability to enable older adults to continue to live independently in their homes. The article links to Baltimore’s “Partners in Care” that gets to the core of timebank founder Edgar S. Cahn’s aim: “Volunteering is a one-way relationship that is charitable, but not necessarily reciprocal. An economist might say that a time bank creates liquidity in a market for day-to-day tasks that might not be commercially available or affordable to [timebank] members.” Let’s hear it for the flow of daily tasks along with the beauty of two-way relationships.

Let’s Tawk “Exchange”
April 7, 2019 — 20:49

By Grace Maselli

The life blood of any timebank is its exchanges. What a person offers to another member.
What a person receives. An hour for an hour. When the timing and need sync. No matter if you’re pulling weeds or pulling teeth. Could be a household chore. An errand to the dry cleaners. A visit to someone in the hospital. A meal for their family.

It’s the stuff of caring. Often with meaning way beyond money; rather, it’s about the actions and deeds that thread and join the interdependent fabric of community. Youth—teens—can be involved too. According to the chores list on “VeryWellFamily,” here’s a sampling of what youth might also contribute to their local timebank exchanges:

  • Plant watering
  • Pet feeding
  • Pet walking (and litter box cleaning!)
  • A scrubba dub dub of pets, pets’ things, and cars in driveways
  • Babysitting (complete with chocolate chip cookie baking)


  • Lawn mowing
  • Hoisting and heaving plant cuttings into bags, then tossing bags into appropriate receptacles
  • Light housekeeping for older people
  • Reading/companionship to housebound folks

    So consider getting your teens into the swing of timebank things. Because you never know when the effort can really make a positive difference in someone else’s life. And yoursOpen our TBT timebanking flyer  for more info.